Occasionally I have a wee look at the referral sites to this blog, and chanced upon a conversation on a forum where my assorted rantings were dismissed as “Baxteresque propaganda” – which I think I’ll adopt as the blog’s strapline. The medium is more important than the message, and if the message is delivered using Scots words, it’s less valid in the eyes of some than a message in Standard English. It appears that if you speak the Glaswegian dialect of Scots you are incapable of joined up logic or presenting accurate information. Someone’s cringe is showing, and it’s not mine.
There’s been a lot of cringing from Unionists over the past week, along with shocked incomprehension, misplaced anger, and what can only be described as out and out anti-Scottish racism. The realisation has dawned upon many south of the Border that Scotland really is serious about this whole indy lark, and there will not be the crushing victory for the no campaign which Better Together expected at the outset. Consequently the comments sections in the UK online press have been swamped by hordes of new posters for whom the penny has just dropped that seismic changes are afoot in Caledonia.
I don’t know a single person who got a loving phone call from friends or relatives in England, begging Scotland to stay in the UK and telling us how much we’re wanted and needed. On the other hand if you want hear that we’re ungrateful subsidy junkies who hate the English, that we’ve done nothing of any use or value and if we vote yes we’ll be evicted and left naked impoverished and alone in the cold next to the barbed wire fence of the UK Sovereign Base Territory at Faslane, you can knock yourself out in the comments section of the Mail, Express, Telegraph or Guardian. It will make you feel dirty, but not in a sexy way.
Most of the Unionist posts make Katie Hopkins appear informed, erudite, and reasonable. Some suffer from the quaint delusion that the border runs along Hadrian’s Wall, so we’d get to annexe Berwick and Newcastle, which is fine by me if folk in Newcastle or Berwick agree to it. Most think that the oil in Scottish waters doesn’t belong to Scotland at all, it belongs to the oil companies or will be split in negotiations and Westminster will take most of it. Eh no, think again, and go look up the phrase “territorial asset”.
Almost all of them think that an independent Scotland would have been liable for the entire costs of bailing out RBS and HBOS, even though most of their business is conducted in England and the operated under Westminster’s regulatory system. (An independent Scotland would only have been liable for that part of the banks’ business operating within Scotland.)
But my personal favourite is when some person who doesn’t know what’s devolved and what isn’t, who knows nothing about Scotland’s true financial position and would be hopelessly lost in Scotland’s political landscape even with a TamTam in their car, informs independence supporters that they haven’t thought things through. Deep down such folk believe that deprived of the higher perspective of Dahn Sarf, Scots aren’t really capable of making informed decisions.
Most believe Scotland is an impoverished basket case, and only the good graces of the UK save us from going Greek. None make the next logical step, which is that if Scotland is indeed an impoverished basket case, then the 300 plus years of the Union have been a disaster. Far from being the most successful partnership of nations in history, if what they believe about Scotland is true, the Union has ruined Scotland. Ending it would be a kindness – in fact it’s a moral imperative. Wounded pride, misconceptions and aborted logic make up the entirety of the Unionist case.
Irrespective of the precise nature of their misunderstanding, like the “Baxteresque” commentator they regard all arguments originating from north of the Border as being less valid than any auld mince uttered in the RP vowels of George Osborne, or “neutral” parties like José Manuel Barroso. No, they really do think the European People’s Party poster boy is neutral. Bless.
Of course it’s not the fault of the average English punter for believing that Barroso is neutral in this debate. Norman Smith, the BBC’s chief political correspondent said on the national news that Barroso was neutral. In the real world Barroso is as neutral as the BBC, which isn’t very neutral at all. But if you’re getting all your news on Scotland from the UK media, it’s scarcely surprising that you have no clue what’s really going on.
The BBC’s neutral ahem Smith also claimed that Mark Carney of the Bank of England had said that a currency union between Scotland and the rUK would be as difficult as making a working Mars lander out of 3 lego bricks, a sticking plaster, and a frayed length of string – or words to that effect. English, Welsh and Northern Irish viewers would never know that Carney didn’t say that at all, instead he gave a studiedly neutral statement setting out the measures necessary – for both Scotland and the rest of the UK – to make a currency union work.
The barrage of negativity, of insults and ignorance is wearisome and sometimes upsetting. But it is also necessary, because it reveals to Scotland what our place in this Union really is, and shows us what the rest of the UK thinks about us. It strips away the rhetoric of Better Together and reveals the Union in its true form. It’s not pretty is it, yet these are supposedly our closest friends and allies, who are so close to us that we are not foreigners to them.
But despite this supposed closeness, it’s becoming plain to everyone in Scotland that our country is deeply deeply alien to the English establishment. They don’t know us, they don’t understand us, and they have no concept of what is or is not in Scotland’s best interests. Yet these are the people who think they can do a better job of governing us than we can do ourselves. We are already foreigners to them, and we have been all along.
So as yer man on the BBC said, it’s all about trust. Who do the Scottish electorate trust more? It’s not about trusting Alex Salmond despite the increasingly frantic efforts of the BBC and the rest of the UK media to portray this as a one man crusade founded in hatred of England. We’re not voting for Alex Salmond in September, nor are we giving our opinions about the people of England. We are choosing between the Westminster system or the talents, resources, and abilities of Scotland and her people.
Only one of these parties has been lying, threatening, and bullying. Only one really understands Scotland and her people. Only one has a vision of the heights to which Scotland can climb. It’s not a difficult choice to make. Lets jist dae it.